This past Saturday, Tony and I turned a lazy little afternoon jaunt to Stillwater into an awesome local brewery crawl ending in northeast Minneapolis. Our impromptu brewery crawl lead to 5 breweries across the metro, including 4 first time visits!
For those of you who know me well (probably all of you reading this post), you know that I like to collect pint glasses from each brewery that I visit. This Saturday was a great for adding to my collection as well as marking a few more local breweries off my bucket list.
Now let’s get the wheels rolling and the beer pouring …
Brewery #1: Maple Island Brewing (Rating: 2 pints)
Maple Island has a great spot overlooking the river in downtown Stillwater. Their atmosphere is spectacular with great indoor and outdoor space, and live music to boot! The weather was perfect so we opted for the outdoor patio. We drank our beers, chatted and people watched before taking our complimentary Maple Island Brewing pint glass and moved onto the next stop.
Brewery #2: Roma Restaurant and Brewery (Rating: 4 pints)
Taking the scenic route toward Minneapolis from Stillwater, we stumbled across the brand new Roma Restaurant and Brewery in Willernie, MN. As we walked in the front door, we were greeted by the sweetest old lady who warmly shook our hands and welcome us to Roma. We seated ourselves at the bar, sampled a couple of their beers and tried one of their signature personal-sized pizzas … it was all GOOD! This former bowling alley has been transformed into a phenomenal Italian restaurant and brewery! Before hitting the road, I purchased my Roma Brewing pint glass, stopped back by our greeter to say thank you, and then we were on to the next …
Brewery #3: Indeed Brewing Company (Rating: 5 pints)
Now, Indeed is by no means the new kid on the block; however, for some reason I had yet to visit their taproom (only made it as far as their parking lot during Art-A-Whirl). This place doesn’t disappoint! As soon as you walk through the doors, you get to choose between The Main Taproom and The Ox Taproom. For our first visit, we chose The Ox Taproom and sat at the bar where we enjoyed their seasonal Peach Bum IPA. Don’t let the name fool you, this isn’t a prissy, fruit beer. IT IS DELICIOUS! We played one game of Go Fish at the bar and then hit up the gear shop for a koozie, sticker and pint glass before heading to the next stop.
Brewery #4: ABLE Seedhouse and Brewery (Rating 4 pints)
I have been seeing the ABLE cans in the liquor store lately (their super awesome modern design jumps off the shelf at you), but I hadn’t really heard much about them. Luckily, ABLE is a block down the road from Indeed … and it’s DEFINITELY worth the stop! I was blown away by the look and feel of the entire venue. The ultra-modern design gives the place a bit of an upscale feel, but the natural materials and vibrant energy make for a comfortable place to sit and enjoy great craft beer. Yes, lets not over look the beer … because it’s phenomenal! The only thing keeping ABLE from receiving a <em>5 pint</em> rating is that they don’t sell pint glasses … WTF! COME ON! 😛 Next!
Brewery #5: 612Brew (Rating 2 pints)
I visited 612Brew shortly after they opened, but I did not purchase a pint glass back then and Tony had never been, so we thought it would be a good place to wrap up our Saturday trek. 612Brew’s venue was great back in the day and it has only gotten better! Super high-tech menu, great local artist mural on the wall and a variety or outdoor spaces to park yourself while sipping down some suds. Now, since it had been a while, I tired the IPA, ale and farm ale … I could pass on all three to be completely honest. The beer isn’t terrible, by any means, but easily ranks at the bottom of the score card for the day. The saving grace at this stop? <a href=”http://www.thefabledrooster.com”>The Fabled Rooster</a> food truck! I pounded their unbelievably delicious Rooster Burger and fries before hitting up the bartender for my 612Brew pint glass and calling it a day!
After this weekend, I have definitely found a few places that I would love to hit up again … and have decided that I need to start a list of brewery’s that I’ve actually picked up my pint glasses from! 🙂
Here’s to local beer and a weekend well spent!